Elmer Gantry (1960)
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Shirley Jones)
Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Richard Brooks)Award nominations: Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic or Comedy Score (André Previn)
Academy Award for Best Picture (Bernard Smith)Award details: (details at IMDb)
Elmer Gantry is a 1960 drama film about a con man and a female evangelist selling religion to small town America. Adapted by director Richard Brooks, the film is based on the 1927 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis and stars Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy and Shirley Jones Elmer Gantry was nominated for five Academy Awards in 1961, including for Best Picture and Best Score, winning the other three; Best Actor for Lancaster, Best Supporting Actress for Jones, and Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie presents fewer than 100 pages of the novel, deleting many characters and fundamentally changing the character and actions of female evangelist, Sister Sharon Falconer, played by Simmons. The story's use of a female evangelist bears a resemblance to true-life Sister Aimee Semple McPherson.